The Monolith

Monolithic Machines

Animation Series, 2023

180x320x6 pixels, variable frames, 2 colors, GIF

'Monolithic Machines' is a series of digital animations that reimagine the hidden complexities lurking beneath the surface of digital screens. The project encompasses a collection of 11 artworks, with the central piece being 'The Monolith' and an accompanying series of 10 pieces titled 'Components.' Initially created for the LED façade of the School of Digital Arts (SODA) in Manchester, the series explores the intricate world of interconnected systems, initially appearing as a unified whole.

Inspired by the dual nature of digital screens, "Monolithic Machines" draws parallels between the LED façade and the vertical displays that saturate our modern digital landscape, from smartphones to digital billboards and rotated TVs serving as art installations. It is when these screens fall silent that their true essence is revealed, transforming into monolithic entities reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke's iconic slab.

Beneath the apparent simplicity lies an intricate labyrinth of interconnected machinery, meticulously crafted through frame-by-frame pixel animation, bridging the mechanical and the digital. The artwork portrays an industrial production line with black and white boxes endlessly moving through complex contraptions in a closed loop, transitioning between forms without yielding any tangible output. 'Monolithic Machines' elevates the rhythmic motion of the machinery beyond its practical function, transforming the machine itself into an object of fascination and turning the screens, regardless of their size, into monolithic entities.

'Components' comprises a series of digital animations formed through the deconstruction of machine parts initially featured in 'The Monolith.' These components are then reassembled to construct abstract compositions, providing a fresh exploration of their original form and function.

'Monolithic Machines' was created as a part of the Hyperconnection exhibition curated by Mimi Nguyen for Verse. The exhibition also features the works of Leander Herzog, Gretta Louw, and Kristen Roos.

Teaser video for the Hyperconnection exhibition at the SODA building in Manchester

Component 1

Component 2

Component 3

Component 4

Drone footage of Monolithic Machines on the façade of SODA

Component 5

Component 6

Component 7

Component 8

Drone footage of Monolithic Machines on the façade of SODA

Component 9

Component 10